Wearing a mask is now mandatory when we head out of our homes, but it still takes some getting used to, especially for those who are bespectacled.
We are often met with a minute but irritating problem — foggy vision every time we exhale.
No matter how we try to make the mask fit better by adjusting the nose wire, somehow our glasses will still fog up, which can get in the way and slow us down especially when we’re out and about running quick essential errands.
Here are some nifty ways to prevent our glasses from fogging up.
A study published in 2011 in a medical journal, Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, recommended washing spectacles with soapy water as a solution for misty glasses when wearing a mask.
“Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess,
“Then let them air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn.”
Washing the spectacles with soapy water will create a “surfactant film” that “causes the water molecules to spread out evenly into a transparent layer can help keep glasses from fogging.”
Though the solution isn’t instant, one must do it repeatedly a couple of times a day. I assume every time before wearing your mask, in order for it to take effect, which can also be quite a hassle.
Shaving foam and cream is another easy trick you can try at home. Steal a dab of shaving foam or cream from the guys at home, place it on your finger and rub it on your lenses.
Leave it on till it dries, then clean it with a soft fabric or microfibre cleaning cloth, so it doesn’t leave scratches on your glasses.
For a quick solution, get an anti-fog spray that is commonly used for swimming, diving and snorkelling to prevent condensation which can cause disruption to water activities. The concept behind this is quite similar to how soapy water works.
Make sure the chemicals from the spray has been properly cleaned before putting your spectacles on again so as to not cause irritation to your eyes.
If you’re making your own cloth masks or are using the reusable mask issued by the government, besides using a thin wire to secure the gap between the nose, there are other materials you could use that might offer a better seal.
Alternative materials that are less flimsy include metal fasteners found in files, aluminium foil that has been folded lengthwise, or a pipe cleaner.
You might have to secure these materials down or pad it up with more cloth so that it doesn’t stick out or poke you.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in Japan suggested folding down the top portion of the mask before wearing it to prevent condensation on the glasses.
However, this method could reduce the area covered by the mask, and compromise the effectiveness of keeping out respiratory fluids that could potentially spread the coronavirus from an infected patient.
Alternatively, the other tip that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has shared is putting a piece of folded tissue paper where the nose wire is. This will help to absorb any moisture that escapes the mask before touching the surface of the lenses.
Watch the video from a Japanese YouTube channel, C Channel on how to incorporate these mask-wearing tips.
Nicole Jochym, a third-year medical school student at Cooper Medical School at Rowan University suggested a simpler method as compared to the ones listed above.
She told The Inquirer Philadelphia: “If you push your glasses forward on your nose a little bit, it should help with fogging,” explaining that, “It makes for more airflow between your face and glasses.”
Though, Samir Mehta, chief of orthopaedic trauma and fracture care at Penn Medicine, noted that people who wear glasses are already “used to where they sit on their face,” and doing so may alter your vision.
This article was first published in AsiaOne.